Covering news was John Hoffland’s pride and passion. He’s considered an icon in Wisconsin broadcasting not only because of his tenure, or because of the success of the TV station he helped grow, but because he has influenced so many people who have made broadcasting a part of their lives.
John was the news director at WEAU-TV, Eau Claire, for a quarter of a century, but his career in broadcasting stretches over five decades. He was an executive producer at WITI-TV in Milwaukee, producer at WCCO-TV in Minneapolis, and news reporter and anchor at WIZM-AM and WKBT-TV in La Crosse, KWWL-TV in Waterloo, Iowa and WAXX/WAYY radio in Eau Claire.
Throughout his career, John served on many panels and boards and received many accolades and awards. They included the Wisconsin Associated Press Carol Brewer Award for outstanding service to broadcast journalism in 2002. But, it was his role as news director, role model, and teacher that is his legacy.
John Hoffland was not only a boss, but a mentor to countless young journalists. He had the unique ability to teach and lead and let reporters find their way. There are John Hoffland “students” all over the country who will attest to his influence, his character, his sense of humor and the love he had for local news.
John grew up in Viroqua, Wisconsin and was a proud Vietnam Era veteran. He passed away on July 4, 2009 at the age of 64 and is survived by his wife, Penny, and son, Lukas.